Coast Lifestyle

THE 8 PILLARS OF HOLISTIC HEALTH AND WELLNESS

holistic health and wellness

Health is often understood as the absence of disease or sickness. While this definition is valid, it lacks the comprehensiveness of a broader approach. So start assessing your holistic health and wellness on a wider spectrum. This means wellness depends on more factors than simply avoiding the flu each year.

Holistic health and wellness is sustained by eight pillars: physical, nutritional, emotional, social, spiritual, intellectual, financial, and environmental.

The pillars will give you a sense of how to work toward your optimal wellness, but it’s by no means prescriptive. The path to wellness is not one-size-fits-all. The journey is unique and different for each individual.

Your biology, personality, and environment will determine what wellness means to you. That’s why your approach should be personalized. The common thread for everyone is that wellness requires a holistic approach.

So, let’s learn more about each pillar and how you can strengthen each one.

Physical

Most people immediately think of exercise when they hear “physical wellness.” Regular physical activity is an important part of the equation that can’t be ignored. But it’s not the only aspect deserving of attention.

Your body needs more than movement alone. Physical wellness also includes appropriate sleep, hygiene, and a healthy diet (more on this in the next section). If you’re evaluating your physical health, ask these questions: Are you getting enough quality sleep? And if not, what barriers keep you from achieving regular and restful sleep?

Researchers published an update to The National Sleep Foundation’s recommendations for adult sleep requirements. Their study reaffirmed the idea that adults should get at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night.

For college students, parents, and workaholics, this can be a tough number to meet. But simple strategies can ensure the sleep you get comes easily and goes on uninterrupted.

Tips:

  1. Avoid screens 30 minutes before bedtime.
  2. Incorporate a relaxing wind-down routine each night. This can include dimming lights in your home, turning on calming music, and even light stretching.
  3. Block out unnecessary light and noise. This can be done with blackout curtains and a white-noise machine.

Nutrition

Though nutrition is intimately tied to physical health, it’s so important and must be represented by its own pillar. This is especially true because nutrition must be personalized based on age, sex, activity level, and body chemistry.

A balanced diet requires that you consume nutritional foods that feed your body and mind. The USDA recommends that during meals, adults fill half of their plates with fruits and vegetables. The other half should be dedicated to mostly grains, along with a modest portion of protein and a side of dairy.

Diversifying your plate with appropriate amounts of each food group will help you acquire the necessary macronutrients for day-to-day energy, muscle growth and recovery, and other bodily processes.

Unfortunately, in 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that nationally, 76 percent of adults didn’t meet the recommendations for daily fruit intake. Even more—87 percent—of adults didn’t meet daily vegetable requirements. When meeting the suggested five cups a day becomes difficult to do, supplementation can help restore the necessary nutrients in your body to appropriate levels.

Strengthening this pillar requires careful attention to your diet and appropriate supplementation. Life’s stressors and time commitments can make these tasks difficult. But nutritional improvements will help strengthen the other seven pillars of holistic health and wellness.

Tips:

  1. Consume a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. Diversifying this portion of your plate will ensure you get the micronutrients your body needs.
  2. Pay attention to portion sizes to help with weight maintenance and adherence to MyPlate guidelines.
  3. Replace refined grains with their whole counterparts to ensure you get enough fiber.

Emotional

Emotional wellness encompasses the ability to navigate your feelings. This means identifying, assessing, and effectively sharing those feelings with others.

Why is this important? The ups and downs of life can take you on an emotional rollercoaster. But the better you understand, process, and manage those feelings, the smoother the ride will be.

Tips:

  1. Create a list of those who support you and how best to contact them. When the going gets tough, it can be hard asking for help. Having this quick reference at hand may make it that much easier to reach out.
  2. Seek out a therapist or counselor. Often a third party’s insight can help you navigate rough waters.
  3. Journaling is an easy way to identify and process your feelings, especially if you’re not comfortable sharing them out loud. It’s always a great way to measure your progress or growth. And reminders of your past obstacles and successes will only be a few pages away.

Social

Social wellness is about connecting with others to form positive relationships. And if those falter, it’s about dealing with any conflicts appropriately.

Social relationships create support systems that can carry you through life’s struggles. Harvard’s Study of Adult Development ran for 80 years, collecting data on hundreds of participants. A recent study on a subset of this population—surviving octogenarians—investigated the connections between marital satisfaction, social lives, and happiness. Researchers found that participants who spent more time with others reported greater levels of happiness.

The impact of surrounding yourself with those that care for you can’t be understated. When the demands of life increase and stress mounts, the ability to turn to someone for support and understanding is powerful. Building and maintaining these networks take time and energy, but the work is worth the effort. And it will continue to serve you throughout your life.

Tips:

  1. Meet new people through social networks like Meetup.com, community events, or volunteer service.
  2. Schedule a recurring time weekly to reach out to out-of-state friends and family. Connect with someone new each week to keep those relationships strong.
  3. Revisit the idea of pen pals and snail mail. Connecting with loved ones through handwritten communication can really strengthen bonds.

Spiritual

The spiritual pillar will look different for everyone because it’s such a personal piece of overall wellness. It will play a stronger role in one person’s life more than another, depending on how each person defines it.

Spirituality is commonly viewed as a sense of purpose, direction, or meaning, without which, values can slip to the wayside, upending life’s balance. Many cultivate their spirituality through meditation, prayer, or other activities that foster a connection to nature or a higher power.

Maintaining your spiritual wellness will look different for everyone. It’s not about a specific religion or belief system. Spiritual health is about personalizing your journey. Some people might practice mindfulness as a way of checking in with their intentions, guiding their actions, and maintaining a values-based approach to life. How you choose to strengthen your spiritual health is up to you.

Tips:

  1. Dedicate a small chunk of time each day to yourself. Make this time a priority, free of distractions, interruptions, and major activities. This time can be used to relax, reflect, meditate, or pray.
  2. Keep a journal. Writing regularly can help clear your mind and keep you accountable to the goals you’ve set.
  3. Choose your top three values in life and write them down. Reflect on them often. Keeping these values in the front of your mind will help guide everyday decisions—big and small. This practice will make it easier to say “yes” to things that matter, and “no” to things that don’t align with your values.

Intellectual

Intellectual wellness is strengthened by continually engaging the mind.  Doing so can help you build new skills and knowledge that inspire and challenge you, and help you grow. You might choose different ways to keep your mind sharp—depending on your mood. For some, that’s brain games and puzzles, or scholastic endeavors. Even simply engaging in intellectually stimulating conversations and debates can strengthen this pillar.

Some experience intellectual boons through self-discovery and personal advancement.  Academic efforts, involvement in community activities, or other avenues of personal growth are just a few you can try.

Tips:

  1. Look for continuing education classes through a local community college or university.
  2. Join a book club or visit your local library and sign up for a card.
  3. Take up journaling or another self-reflective activity.

Financial

To be financially well is to live within your means and plan for the future appropriately. It can be tough to accomplish, but small steps can pay off big-time in the long-run.

Financial wellness might sound the least exciting. But pursuing betterment in this area will surely strengthen the other pillars of holistic health and wellness. After all, financial troubles are one of the top stressors that Americans report. Taking small steps to control spending and save money can really lighten the burden on your everyday life.

Tips:

  1. Make paying off debt a priority.
  2. Create a budget with the help of an online system like Mint or a personal financial planner.
  3. Set aside a fixed amount of money every month for non-essentials, like entertaining, dining out, and recreation.

Environmental

Environmental wellness is concerned with your immediate personal surroundings and the larger community where you live and work. Specifically, environmental wellness is determined by the reciprocal relationship between an individual and their environment. How do you support your environment? And in return, how does your environment support your health, well-being, and safety?

The effects of strengthening your environmental wellness can be felt personally, and by your larger local and global communities. The more you care for and respect your natural and built environments, the better they can support and sustain your daily life.

Tips:

  1. Individual: Keep your workspace clear. A clutter-free workspace inspires creativity and productivity.
  2. Neighborhood: Join local clean-up efforts. This could include: producing less waste, recycling, and picking up litter in your neighborhood.
  3. Larger community: Cut back on car trips. Whether it’s combining errands or replacing motorized transport when possible, each small effort can add up to a large impact.

Build Up Your Pillars of Holistic Health and Wellness

Wellness means different things to each individual. And being well gives each person the ability to reach their personal goals. After all, when your body, mind, and soul are cared for holistically, you’re able to pursue and meet your goals with less resistance.

To determine your personalized approach to wellness, reflect on the eight pillars of holistic health and wellness. Figure out which ones most require your attention. And remember, strengthening each one will provide a great foundation for living your best, healthiest life.

Special Thank You to Jenna Templeton

East Coast Life Solutions is always seeking tribe members, if you are interested in joining our tribe, please reach out to East Coast Life Solutions

 

 

Healthy Cove

HOW DOES REIKI BRING WISDOM AND LIFE-FORCE INTO THE BODY?

The spiritual energy healing practice of Reiki is an ancient eastern holistic health tradition that dates back thousands of years. Reiki was rediscovered by Dr. Mikao Usui of Japan and was brought to the west by Mrs. Hawayo Takata in 1937.

The word Reiki is derived from two Japanese words – Rei, which can best be defined as higher wisdom or universal and Ki, like chi or qi, is a term used to describe our life-force energy. This hands-on form of spiritual healing manipulates our life-force energy. It is believed that the effectiveness of healing with Reiki is directed by a higher spiritual power that sends this powerful life-giving force to the perfect place within us.

The goal of this alternative health modality is to restore balance and harmony between all the parts of our being. Reiki works to create a state of equilibrium in our life-force energy. It raises the vibration in the body and words to heal and clear its energetic pathways. This allows our life-force energy to begin to flow again. The spiritual healing provided by Reiki promotes health and wellbeing to all of our parts, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING A REIKI SESSION

In a healing session, the recipient lies down with their eyes closed. The Reiki practitioner utilizing a series of fixed hand positions infuses the body with healing energy. In each hand position, the practitioner channels universal energy though their bodies, out of their hands and into the bodies of their client. The hands are held in each of these positions for several minutes at a time. Many of the hand positions correlate to the energy centers, the chakras that run up the spine. The positions start at the top of the head and progressively work their way down the body.

Having a Reiki healing session is not like getting a massage. Reiki healing is performed on a flat surface such as a massage table, but that is where the similarities end. You do not have to remove your clothes to obtain the benefits of the healing energy of this health modality. The muscles are not rubbed, kneaded, squeezed or pressed. Instead, the hands are placed gently on or held above the body.

Individuals who have received Reiki report a wide range of things. During a session, some report experiencing feelings of warmth, heat or vibration as the practitioner works on them. Others do not sense anything at all. The most common remark expressed by recipients of Reiki is the sense of relaxation, peace and an overall reduction in stress after a session.

Energy

WHO CAN PERFORM REIKI?

You do not have to be a powerful healer in order to perform this form of spiritual energy healing. Healing during a Reiki session is achieved when universal life-force energy is transferred from the ethers, through the practitioner and into the recipient. The clearer and more open the healing practitioner is, the better a vessel they are to channel the healing energy through them. This makes the use of Reiki as a healing technique open to anyone.

Reiki offers methods for both self-healing as well as methods of working one-on-one with a spiritual energy healing practitioner. There are also a number of wonderful books that can guide you to a deeper understanding of the healing power of Reiki, either for self healing or if you are interested in performing Reiki healings on others.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of WakingTimes or its staff.

By Dr. Rita Louise

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bestselling author, Dr. Rita Louise is the host of Just Energy Radio and the Founder of the Institute Of Applied Energetics. She is the author of the books The ET Chronicles,Avoiding The Cosmic 2X4,Dark Angels and The Power Within as well as hundreds of articles that have been published worldwide. She is also the producer of the videos iKon: Deconstructing The Archetypes Of The AncientsThe Truth About The Nephilim and Deceit, Lies & Deception: The Reptilian Agenda. Dr. Rita has appeared on radio and television and has spoken at conferences covering topics such as health and healing, ghosts, intuition, ancient mysteries and the paranormal. For more information about Dr. Rita please visit http://soulhealer.com or listen to her live at http://www.justenergyradio.com.

Thanks to Waking Times for this article.

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